Democrats scorch Obama over UN vote condemning Israeli settlements

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Congressional Democrats issued scathing statements aimed at the Obama administration over the US’s abstention from a Friday UN Security Council vote demanding Israel stop building settlements in occupied Palestinian territory.

Leading Democrats from both houses called out the UN as an inappropriate venue for rejuvenating the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. They objected to the Obama administration’s departure from what they view as decades of established US policy of vetoing UN resolutions regarding Israeli settlements.
Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said it was “extremely frustrating, disappointing and confounding” that the Obama administration failed to veto the UN’s vote.
Schumer called out the UN as a “fervently” anti-Israel body, since the days of “Zionism is racism.”
“Whatever one’s views are on settlements, the UN is the wrong forum to settle these issues,” Schumer said.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, called the US’s abstention from the vote “unconscionable.”
“A two-state solution must be negotiated directly between the Israelis and Palestinians, and this resolution flies in the face of this necessity,” Blumenthal said.
He also said support for Israel must remain “bipartisan,” and that he’ll work with colleagues on “both sides of the aisle” to advance “productive measures” that strengthen the US’s relationship with Israel.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, said that he would work to form a bipartisan coalition to “suspend or significantly reduce United States assistance to the United Nations.”
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